Grown \ˈgrōn\- adj. Having achieved full growth. Possessing maturity. Produced or cultivated in a certain way.
We've talked a lot this week about being grown - as in putting away childish things and being responsible for one's own actions and decisions. We've heard a lot of people claiming to be grown. And I think we can all agree it's not so much an age as a state of being. You don't get magically "grown" on your whateverth birthday. It's an evolution, a destination, a place to which (unfortunately) not everyone arrives. We all know one or two people "of a certain age" who act like they are one step out of kindergarten. That Peter Pan Syndrome is nothing to play with.
So you say you're grown... here are five ways to prove it:
1. Act like it - Children whine, point fingers, pout when they don't get their own way, find it hard to articulate their feelings, throw tantrums, cry with little provocation, require guidance, a steady stream of feedback, supervision and positive reinforcement. If more than two of these sound like your modus operandi - you needs to grow up.
2. Look like it - There comes an age whereupon it's not cute to dress like an extra for a 90s New Jack video - male or female. Sloppy, slouchy, slovenly - not three "S" words you want regularly attached to you. Sexy, suave/sophisticated or stylish sound a little closer to the mark. Certain occasions call for certain clothes. It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Proceed accordingly. Your hair is an outward reflection of you - is that really what you're trying to convey? Ladies - lipstick should match your skin tone first, your outfit second. Eye shadow should be a whisper, not a shout. Eyeliner should be more nuance and less Nefertiti. If you're unclear, hie thee to a professional and catch a clue.
3. Speak like it - Grown ups should know their audience during conversational forays. There's a time and a place to share "urban colloquialisms" - if you are in doubt, fall back on the Queen's English. If you don't know what that is, you probably stumbled onto the wrong blog. Google and come back. We'll wait. Nothing says "infantile" like a person who can not articulate two or three intelligent thoughts together in a sentence. I'm pleading, have something to say about yourself. One or two sentences for all occasions. Trust me on this.
4. Live like it - Hmm. How to put this? You can only get away with a 10-year old lumpy mattress on the floor and a TV on a three legged plant stand for so long. At some point, get next to a Walmart or an Ikea to get some "I'm tryna be grown" furniture until you afford some Thomasville or Ethan Allen. Fellas, I cannot impress upon you the importance of decent linens and bath towels. Nothing says "My right hand is my Valentine" like tore up faded superhero sheets and towels of indistinguishable color. Target is your friend. The end cap near aisle 21 is there for you. You don't have to ascend to 500-thread count (right away) but if you are past 23, you need to be at 250 thread count - bare minimum. I mean it. Everybody - your refrigerator needs to hold more than last week's takeout pizza and a pitcher of Kool-aid. There is a rotisserie chicken, a bag of salad and a 90-second microwaveable package of Uncle Ben's rice waiting for you at your closest grocers. Make that happen.
5. Think like it - Looking back is only good if you reflect, dissect and move forward with some lessons learned. Having no discernible plan for the future is careless. To think like an adult you must actually have some sense of direction and a plan to head there. You must embrace a value system and live by it. Principles become less waffly and ideals are turned into actions. In short, you have a brain... use it. That's what grown ups do.
As Clay said yesterday - here endeth the lesson. BougieLand - thoughts, insights, opinons? Anything to add?